[Coral-List] Additional information regarding bioerosion processes

aline tribollet alinetribollet at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 18 06:15:05 EDT 2006

Dear coral-list members,
  For those who are interested by bioerosion processes in coral reefs, you may be interested in reading the following paper: 
  Tribollet A and Golubic S (2005) Cross-shelf differences in the pattern and pace of bioerosion of experimental carbonate substrates exposed for 3 years on the northern GRB, Australia. Coral Reefs 24(3): 422-434. (Award of the Best Paper 2005 in Coral Reefs).
  This paper focuses on bioerosion as a whole, including microborers, macroborers and grazers, over a 3 years period. This was the first attempt on studying bioerosion due simultaneously to all agents at a large temporal and spatial scale.
  Bioerosion due to macroborers (macrobioerosion) is indeed higher on inshore reefs due to high rates of sedimentation and eutrophication as reported by Mike Risk and other authors. In contrast, trends for grazing and microbioerosion are opposite: rates increase from inshore to offshore reefs (at least on the northern GBR). Therefore, bioerosion as a whole increases from inshore to offshore reefs on the GBR because it is principally due to the boring activity of grazers and endoliths (microborers) whatever the length of exposure (1 or 3 yrs of exposure). 
  To estimate the state of health of coral reefs both bioerosion and reef growth processes have to be considered simultaneously! Bioerosion should include microborers, macroborers and grazers activity and reef growth should include coral and coralline algae growth, calcification, recruitment, cover, etc. Edinger et al (2000) attempted to measure all these variables but quantified only macrobioerosion and not bioerosion as a whole. Therefore, their model presented in their paper has to be considered with caution (see Tribollet and Golubic 2005) especially on the oligotrophic reefs (bioerosion was underestimated).
  I agree with Mike Risk that it is a pity to see that bioerosion is usually ignored or neglected in coral reef studies while it plays a major role in biogeochemical cycles and sedimentation.
  A. Tribollet, PhD
  Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
  46-007 Lilipuna Rd
  Kaneohe, HI, 96744, USA
  E-mail: aline at hawaii.edu

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